Confession time. I've discovered I'm not really much of a pizza person. There. I said it. Let the outrage begin.
In the South, your pizza choices are limited to Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's (I was partial to the extra sauce on the Papa John's creations, as well as their garlic butter dipping sauce). The pizzas have thicker crusts and you order them loaded with toppings. My friend Melanie got me into ham and pineapple, while I also enjoyed the ones topped with all types of meat (aka meat lover's pizza). Since moving up here I've discovered the garlic, artichoke, bacon combination, as well as cheddar, jalapenos and bacon (are we seeing a pork theme in my choices?). I refuse to eat pizza unadorned with toppings.
I am having trouble making the transition to these thin-crust pizzas with less sauce, cheese and toppings. This past week, I've hit two popular pizza places, with the same results. First was Lazzara's Pizza Cafe, on 38th street, between 7th and 8th ave. Ryan was intrigued by the square pizzas here and we opted for two halves -- the Lazzara's special of prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes and olives and the classic Margarita. Ryan, who is a pizza enthusiast, deemed the pizza as good, not blown-away great. I deemed it, "okay." And I don't think I am such a fan of the square slices. Here's a pic of our pizza.
Then on Tuesday I had a get-together at Arturo's, on 106 W Houston St. Here's how an anonymous poster on menupages describes the pizza: "If you grew up eating New York Pizza you will love it...If you grew up eating Domino's you will think you died and went to heaven!" I did not think so. What is wrong with me? Anyway, I arrived a bit late to Arturo's and the group had already order three pies each with one topping -- mushrooms, sausage and eggplant.
I felt the need to sample all three. I did really like the eggplant one.. the eggplant had been coated in bread crumbs and fried before placed on the bubbly cheese. Yum. But overall, I was not impressed with the sausage and mushroom pizzas. I needed more crust, toppings and more sauce! I am totally unappreciative of the thin crust New York pizza. As a foodie, I am almost ashamed of myself. But this does spring a debate -- is the pizza eating experience all about the toppings or all about the sauce and crust? What is the definition of a truly spectacular pizza?